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Animal experimentation

Code: PDCCV_13     Acronym: PDCCV_13

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Medicine

Instance: 2015/2016 - 2S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Physiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery Department
Course/CS Responsible: Doctoral Programm in Cardiovascular Sciences

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
PDCCV 2 Ciências Cardiovasculares_13 1 - 3 13,5 81

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Ana Patricia Nunes Fontes de Sousa

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 0,61
Laboratory Practice: 0,36

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


Prepare students for the appropriate use of animals in scientific research, through the acquisition of knowledge of the fundamental principles of animal experimentation.

Learning outcomes and competences

It is intended that the student: (1) have knowledge of the legislation regulating the use of experimental animals in Europe and Portugal. (2) Know the potential alternatives to animal experiments. (3) Have an attitude towards the use of animals in research that reflects "The 3 Rs": Replace, Reduce, and Refine - with focus on animal welfare and scientific quality for animal experiments. (4) Know the anatomy, biology and major diseases of laboratory animals. (5) Understand the principles behind anesthesia, analgesia, humane endpoints and euthanasia. (6) Know the potential health hazards related to animal experiments, and how to minimize them. (7) Know how to restrain the animals, collect biological samples, and administrate drugs.

Working method



Theoretical course: 1. Introduction to the use of animals in scientific research. 3Rs principle. 2. Legal and ethical aspects of animal experimentation. 3. Biology and husbandry of laboratory animals. 4. Anatomy and post-mortem examination of laboratory animals. 5. Restrain and handling of laboratory animals. 6. Anesthesia and analgesia. 7. Euthanasia methods in animal experimentation. 8. Experimental procedures: 8.1. Harvest of biological samples. 8.2. Drug administration. 9. General principles of surgery and basic concepts about suture. 10. Diseases in Laboratory Animals. 11. Zoonosis and microbiological control of laboratory animals. 12. Alternatives to animal experiments.

Practical course: Restrain and handling of laboratory animals. Collection of biological samples. Drug delivery routes (subcutaneous, intramuscular, intraperitoneal, intravenous). Anesthesia and analgesia. Anatomy and necropsy of laboratory animals. Running multiple sutures techniques.

Mandatory literature

van Zutphen, L. F., Baumans, V., & Beynen, A. C. ; Principles of laboratory animal science: a contribution to the humane use and care of animals and to the quality of experimental results. , Elsevier Science Publishers., 1993
Harkness, J. E., Wagner, J. E. ; The biology and medicine of rabbits and rodents. , Lippincott Williams & Wilkins., 1995
Fox, J. G., Anderson, L. C., Loew, F. M., & Quimby, F. W. ; Laboratory Animal Medicine, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, 2002
Flecknell, P. ; Laboratory animal anaesthesia, Elsevier, 2009
Suckow, M. A., Weisbroth, S. H., & Franklin, C. L. (Eds.). ; The laboratory rat. , Academic Press, 2006

Teaching methods and learning activities

The teaching methodology includes theoretical and practical classes, as follows:

-Lectures with audio-visual resources.

-Practical classes (Restrain methods, collection of biological samples, drug administration routes, induction of anaesthesia, performing suture and necropsy techniques).

Evaluation Type

Evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 100,00
Total: 100,00

Eligibility for exams

Frequency: presence of at least 75% of classes

Calculation formula of final grade

Type of evaluation: Final written examination (Multiple choice test + written short answers).

The classification is obtained with the final exam.

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